Finally the day is here, and so my stories of Halloween past will come to a close with this one final Halloween blog. This year, as I’ve hashed out over many blogs, my children decided to go as a pirate and a football player. (Okay, not just any football player, but as Aaron Rodgers. This was a compromise after days of negotiation.) This was one of the most action packed weekends we’ve seen in a long while, and, though I’m falling asleep writing this, it was GREAT!
The weekend started with the family packing up and heading out to Player’s Choice (which happens to be where I play roller derby…) and attending a “Spooktacular” event. This event had “trick or treat alley”, which held tables where local family oriented vendors could give candies to children and get their name out in the community. After the kids got through the alley (with bags full of giveaways, literally) they were able to enjoy many inflatable jumping toys, a petting zoo, photography and a costume contest, among other things. It was really a fun event and the boys left as tired as I did. (Also of note, the Foxz rollergirls donated time to running the event, and so many of my derby friends got to see my kids dressed up. That was pretty cool also.) When we arrived home, we carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds. The boys went to bed easily as they had been all tired out from their play.
On Saturday, we bravely held our first “duel” sleepover. Both Jake and Ben had been allowed to invite a friend over. Jake invited his friend Cameron. (You might recall he recently went to his birthday party and guest blogged about it.) Unfortunately, Ben’s friend presented with some communication issues, and was unable to come over. But, at the last minute, I found a 5 year old loan from my friend Lisa! Lisa’s son Jadon decided to come over to even out our party. He even chose to stay the night. The mix of kids was interesting. They all got along well and there were times that Ben and Cameron were playing while Jadon and Jake were sharing toys. It was actually much better than I could’ve imagined. Much to my surprise, after playing hard for hours, the boys went to bed easily before 9 o’clock and all slept in until about 6am, allowing Ryan and I to stay in bed till nearly 8am. That really helped out, since today, of course, I expected my children to do a marathon of trick-or-treating. Today, after I returned the boys I had loaned out to their rightful mothers, I set about getting the kids ready for Halloween. When the time finally came, I dressed both boys, and we played outside taking pictures. They had a great time posing for the camera this year. That was also a nice change of pace.
Jake’s costume was fantastic. I’d estimate that 3 of every 5 houses congratulated him on “today’s big win”. Many houses commented that it was nice to see a kid with the “right” jersey, which I believe to be an indirect way of saying, “glad he’s not Favre.” Every time someone commented on his costume, Jake was kind enough to return with some polite token, such as “it was a great game” or “we really kicked their butts.” I think somehow that the adults speaking with him enjoyed the positive interaction with a young person as much as he felt proud to have his costume recognized. Also, there were two separate groups of older girls that wooted and wooed over dreamy Aaron Rodgers. (Don’t think Jake didn’t notice, because the blush on his face would prove you wrong.)
Benjamin was using the pirate costume to its fullest advantage. Apparently, just so you know, pirates don’t eat veggies. Pirates don’t get cold. Pirates can eat any candy they want. Pirates can eat as much candy as they want. You might be surprised to find out that pirates, in fact, do not do anything that Ben does not like to do. Go figure!
Unlike Jake, who looked famously comfortable in his role of Aaron, Ben was having a few minor wardrobe malfunctions. Mostly, the strap on Ben’s eye patch kept covering the opposite eye, leaving him blinded in both eyes. As many times as I tried to move it, he kept pushing it back to the spot that forced him to squint. Also, I had picked out pirates boots that were just a few sizes too large, and so Ben took more than one tumble down porch steps today. (Thank goodness pirates don’t get hurt or cry!) Eventually, Ben’s belts refused to remain tied as his candy bag continually hit them, and somehow, he broke his candy handle. So, poor Pirate Ben was a hot mess by the time we headed around our final block. The good news is, as hard as it was to watch, he seemed completely unaffected by the entire struggle with his wardrobe.
Both kids were adorable in their approach to the doors. Jake, whose shoes fit him, sprinted to the next lighted porch and rang the door bell. Ben would then be prompted to make a mad dash from 50 yards away each time, screaming, “TRUCKER TREAT” as loud as he could until he caught Jake at the door. Gradually throughout the nights both kids started picking back up on their manners and remembering to thank each person that granted them treats. I was very proud of their progress.
On a final Halloween note, earlier this month, I read many blogs alluding to Halloween as a day for kids to dress up and go door to door begging for candy. And, I suppose in its most basic form, Halloween probably does appear that way. However, I hope through my stories this month, I have shared a deeper meaning to the holiday, not specifically religious or cultural. I believe Halloween is a time where kids are allowed to be inspired and become who they want to be, and a time where they are momentarily brave enough to befriend the generations that went before them. I believe that Halloween can be used as a great time for learning creativity, kindness and manners. I believe the adults who buy buckets of candy are probably more excited to watch the ghosts and ghouls arrive at their doors than the kids are excited to partake of their candies. All in all, I love the whimsy of Halloween and the fun spirit of combined neighborhoods allowing one another to be silly and enjoy a moment. This was a fantastic Halloween. Here’s to hoping yours was fun as well!